Some of us felt have powerless in these recent months of isolation, but many at Franklin University Switzerland have seized the opportunity to do good works. With the help of 25 other volunteers, Cristina Elvira Pérez, our FUS Assistant Director of University Housing, began an online communication service called Radio Hope.

Radio Hope is aimed at Spanish-speakers around the world who are isolated due to COVID-19. They may be quarantined at home, hospitalized, or elderly living in nursing homes. However, the service provides even more benefits than you might think.

By sending messages through Radio Hope, people all over Europe, Latin America, and Africa are able to communicate with their relatives or sick friends, and sometimes even say goodbye. Radio Hope is an empowering community, where listeners can send and receive encouragement, or just empathize with others experiencing similar feelings. Participants can vent, give thanks, feel useful and supported, all at the same time.

The inspiration behind Radio Hope comes from the incredible story of the Ugandan radio station Radio Wa. During the long civil war in Uganda, Radio Wa broadcast messages from parents to their children who had been kidnapped by the revolutionary army to become child soldiers. When the conflict ended, a government poll revealed that more than 1,500 children had returned home because they heard the voice of their parents calling them on the radio, telling them everything was okay and that they were still loved.

It is from this example that Assistant Director Pérez knows she can help. “I immediately thought that it was a good way to do something useful from home, as I was feeling that I needed to help people that are suffering now. During these weeks I have fallen in love with the radio. We receive positive feedback, and I can say that Radio Hope has helped me live through this situation.

“In my radio show, besides the audio notes from the listeners, I play music that I think elderly people may like. Most importantly, I talk about good initiatives that are currently happening. I try to convey the message that there are good and positive things in all situations, and that COVID-19 is no exception.”

Radio Hope broadcasts every day from 8:00 a.m. to 24:00 p.m. at www.radiohopeonline.org. You can stream the channel via the website or listen to recorded podcasts. Share the link with those that need to hear its message, especially if you know Spanish-speaking people that are suffering right now because of COVID-19. You can also send an audio note of encouragement, joy, and hope through WhatsApp to +34680391606.